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Words of wisdom: Joe Chidiac, Pulse Middle East

Offering his recommendations for success this month is the managing partner of Dubai-based AV and lighting firm, Pulse Middle East.

Hire soft skills

To meet ever-rising expectations from the public, we hire the best talent: creative and experienced people with great insight, who work with passion in every single job, whether big or small. However, there’s a lack of talent in the market, so finding a new person can be a lengthy process. We interview applicants who have the necessary skills and experience, but it is important to go beyond paper: creativity and cultural fit simply cannot be represented in a document. We employ people very much on soft skills that we discover upon meeting them, including strength of character, ideas and creativity.

Technology to inspire

Our company culture is to inspire and promote entrepreneurship, creativity and technological prowess, and to facilitate seamless, unimpeded collaboration. As well as hiring people that fit our collective ethos, we believe in enhancing our organisation with all the resources we can muster. All our resources, from our offices to the technology that we employ, are assimilated with an eye to enhancing our culture. Every department at Pulse is underpinned by advanced technology, whether it be our enterprise resource planning solutions, or high-tech equipment in our testing facilities, training facilities and meeting rooms. These provide our people with a solid infrastructure and a framework to quench their creative thirst.

Keep up to date

I constantly educate myself about the latest trends and technologies, which are a major source of inspiration. We are fortunate that Dubai is a regional art and design hub, with areas such as D3 Design district and Alkersal Avenue attracting the cream of designers and artists from all over the region and the world, creating a unique fusion of style, art and music. This creativity and inspiration has directly influenced projects such as Base Dubai – which was placed within the D3 Design District hub to cater to a young and savvy audience attracted to the latest design trends.

Inspiring leaders

Personally, I’m inspired by the work and leadership of CEOs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Elon’s ideas promote ground-breaking ideas – pushing the boundaries of technology to meet growing market demand in new markets of electric vehicles, setting himself against a well-established, powerful industry. Jeff on the other hand encourages patience, persistence and attention to detail – it’s truly astonishing that he has navigated through the dotcom bust and the recession to build from his garage.

It is important to do beyond paper: creativity and cultural fit simply cannot be represented in a document

Keep on time

Diligent time management is at the absolute core of running our business efficiently, and even more essential in the hospitality industry. When a venue has a target date, it is crucial to design, supply and build our element of the project on time. In this region cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are often located within hotels; therefore, running to schedule is crucial, as any delays on our part can mean whole areas of the location are closed if it’s already established. We plan carefully, ensuring that we run on time so the client doesn’t lose revenue.

In Dubai we can regularly be met by frustrations such as delayed deliveries, meaning forward planning and effective delegation is of paramount importance for smooth operations and efficiency. This not only means planning from the top, but also promoting a culture of organisation and team responsibility. At all times, this must be balanced with a culture of free-thinking and creativity – which again is a by-product of effective delegation.

Embrace change

The exploration of creativity and ideas often has evolution and change at its heart; for example design, fashion and technology are all constantly in flux. In creative industries such as design and audiovisual it is almost essential to embrace this change. I encourage colleagues and clients to embrace change by demonstrating how it will secure their aims. Sometimes this requires visual demonstrations – even taking clients to a design spot in the city so they can see for themselves the impact of a new concept.

We are as open and as transparent as possible with clients. We seek an honest dialogue, as this ultimately produces better understanding and thus a better end result. We also find that this approach can build a great long-term relationship – which at its heart is what good business is all about.